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Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11 Review RSS Feed

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11

Reviews Views Date of last review
3 30,744 Sat March 11, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
33% of reviewers $206.33 4.33
Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11
Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11


This lens has a field of view of 180 degrees and it covers the 24x36mm full frame image area. The aperture ring only has four positions (11, 16, 22, and 32). The diaphragm is a perforated disc with a perfectly circular opening for each of the four F-stop settings.

The lens has fixed focus and thus no focusing ring.

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Aperture Ring
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

Full frame: 180 °
Not possible
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
60 x 12 mm
98 g
Production Years
1963 (start of production)
Engraved Name
Fish-Eye-Takumar 1:11/18
Product Code
356, 43560
User reviews
The diaphragm is a perforated disc with perfectly circular openings
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportAdapter needed for DSLRsDiscontinued
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-3 of 3
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 261

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $109.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size (a true Pancake), Rounded Fisheye Effect, Center Sharpness
Cons: Corner and Edge Softness, Vignetting, Slow

This lens hasn't been reviewed in a while and there are few examples out there showing it's true rendering. I am going to respectfully deviate from the other reviewers and offer some perspective and hopefully a fresh look at this unusual optic.

True, the edges and corners are soft and there is some vignetting due to the image circle not quite covering the corners. And yes, wide open at f/11 is relatively slow, and the image quality does improve significantly as you stop down. But the overall presentation is, I believe, beautiful and artistic. It gives a full rounded fisheye effect, I think more so than its 17mm f/4 cousin. The center sharpness is actually quite good with a fairly high degree of contrast which diminishes as the edges are approached. And because of its limitations, it's actually quite easy and somewhat liberating to use as there's no focusing and only 4 click-stop aperture settings; you don't get bogged down fiddling with exposure setting options.

This lens is a true pancake, almost appearing as a body cap, therefore extremely compact; the only lens I believe is smaller is the DA 40mm XS.

I feel this lens doesn't pretend to be anything more than what you get which is a circa-1963 pancake fisheye lens that when used within its limitations gives pleasing results and is fun to use.

Here are two examples at f/22, shot with a Pentax H1a loaded with Arista.EDU 400 (the old Forte version):


Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 427

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Tiny - really, really tiny.
Cons: Extremely slow, cannot optimize focus for close-ups.
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 1    Handling: 10    Value: 3   

The very first thing you need to know about this lens is that there are a huge number out there that are internally degraded. Separation and edge-black flaking are more the norm than the exception. If you want to actually use one of these, prepare to hunt for one without the usual problems.

(July 2014 - review rewritten based on digital Full-Frame testing.)
This lens is good for: 1. Collections as a historic item. It makes for a great showpiece in the display cabinet. 2. If you get one cheap and want a really tiny lens that takes up practically no space in your bag - and you are shooting stationary subjects from a tripod at moderate distances at F22 or 32. Don't even think about using this lens at F11. Any passable shot requires a trip to slowsville.

APS-C: Fair at F22 or 32. Color rendition and sharpness are best in the center. Doesn't handle high dynamic range well. Direct sun produces veiling.

Full-Frame: IQ deteriorates rapidly towards the edges and aberrations can smear over 1 degree. Image circle doesn't quite cover the extreme corners.

As an alternate, a good copy of a S-M-C or SMC 17/4 it's almost as small, and has superior overall performance.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Posts: 221

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Pancake lens, nice body cap that can take pictures
Cons: extremly slow, lacks of sharpness

It is said to be the first fish eye lens that covers the 24x36 format. It is also the only fish eye pancake lens.
Apart from these historical points, this lens is not really usable : extremely slow with a f/11 max aperture, not very sharp and clearly blurred corners (visible in the viewfinder !). Its best (or less worse) aperture on my K100D is f/22 (at f/16 it is sharper in the center but corners are not that good), so due to the diffraction, you won't get great pictures. Curiously, it seem to be quite good when used on film (but extreme corners are not covered, see my samples). It also has poor flare resistance and color rendition, so I would say it is just a collector's lens.
Samples :
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